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Come to the Table program offers mini-grants supporting faith communities, farmers, and food insecure communities

Media Contact: Beth Hauptle, [email protected]
Program Contact: Michelle Osborne, [email protected]

[Pittsboro, NC, January 14, 2021] – Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA’s (RAFI-USA) Come to the Table program (CTTT) is pleased to once again offer technical assistance grants to support up to 30 rural United Methodist churches throughout North Carolina. CTTT will fund churches that are engaging in emergency hunger relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis with mini-grants of up to $1,000. These grants are funded by support from The Duke Endowment.

During 2020, Come to the Table offered mini-grants to nearly 70 churches throughout North Carolina who were responding to the increased hunger in their communities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new round of mini-grants will provide funding to churches who are purchasing food from local growers or local restaurants to distribute in their community. Because of RAFI-USA’s long standing relationships with farmers, farmers markets, and faith communities throughout North Carolina, Come to the Table is uniquely situated to connect these groups in mutually beneficial relationships.

“Because of the loss of income from our social enterprise, we’ve really been leaning on the support of our partners, such as RAFI-USA. These grants have helped to offset the lost revenue from our thrift store and enabled us to continue providing fresh, nutritious produce. It has been such a blessing to see the way organizations and faith communities have stepped up during this pandemic. This really is Kingdom work, and together we’re making the world a better place,  said Rev. Tom Owens of  Long’s Chapel UMC, a 2020 Come to the Table mini-grant recipient.

Application Information

To be eligible to apply for these funds, churches must be rural, located in North Carolina, and eligible to receive funds from The Duke Endowment. Churches must use these funds to purchase food from local farmers, local restaurants, or local food businesses to distribute to food insecure community members. 

Priority funding consideration will be given to churches that did not receive funding support from Come to the Table in 2020, as well as to churches that purchase food from farms or businesses owned by people of color, projects led by people of color, or projects that provide food for communities of color. A review board will make final funding decisions. The grant application deadline is February 15, 2021, and applicants will be notified of funding decisions by March 15, 2021. Visit http://bit.ly/cttt2021minigrants for more information and to apply.

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About the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) and  Come to the Table

RAFI-USA challenges the root causes of unjust food systems, supporting and advocating for economically, racially, and ecologically just farm communities. We envision a thriving, sustainable, and equitable food system: where farmers and farmworkers have dignity and agency; where they are supported by just agricultural policies; where corporations and institutions are accountable to their community.  RAFI-USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and incorporated in 1990. 

Come to the Table is a program of RAFI-USA whose goal is to end hunger by developing connections and building power to create a just food system where food is a human right and those who work in the system have ownership and are treated with dignity. We believe that faith communities have a key role to play in this work.

About The Duke Endowment

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3.6 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.